Fear # 2
MY FRIEND’S WILL HATE ME
Well they won’t.
Ok fair call. You might have some mates that are not on board with your decision to take some time away from alcohol. I certainly did! My Lord, I remember a stranger at a house warming BBQ actually yelling at me when I said I didn’t want to take a shot of tequila. Fancy that, a grown adult human getting hi knickers in a knot because I didn’t want to get down with Mr Worldwide and smash a Fireball. It was confronting that’s for sure. But even though it felt weird, I didn’t cave to please some random person I own nothing to. I stayed in my lane.
We don’t all have to agree all the time. One small scroll on Facebook will prove that we don’t! How boring would life be if all agreed all the time? Okay there may be less online trolls and school-yard or workplace bullies, a bit of healthy disagreement is good and just because they are your friends, it doesn’t mean they are going to be super supportive of a choice of yours that calls into question their own behaviour. So yes, some of your mates will be totally cool and supportive if you go a month alcohol-free, others won’t. That’s ok. If someone takes issue with your personal choice, it’s most likely a reflection of what is going on with them. If they use language to intimidate, pressure or cause offence to you, about your decision, I would have a think about if that person is a true friend or if your friendship is founded on something shakeable rather than a strong foundation of respect and care. And by shakeable, yes I mean mid-afternoon Martini’s, shaken not stirred.
What I think is worse than a couple of friends taking issue with a choice you are making to empower yourself, is the endless self-hated you might feel if you don’t. And maybe that’s where drinking has crept into your world. Are you harbouring trauma, pain, heartbreak or disappointment? And rather than deal with these inevitable life challenges, you ignore them and keep drinking, which only compounds and over time, and trust me, that’s not good.
Taking responsibility for your emotional health, your relationship with yourself and your relationship with alcohol, is the driver behind a choice to live alcohol-free, for a little or a long time. If your true friends can’t support your quest for peace and emotional well-being, I would ask what they do offer or add to your life?
One final note, I often say, alcohol is not the problem. It is your relationship with it. Try to remember this when you are facing a tough conversation with a friend or a colleague about your decision, you are trying to manage your relationships better. All of them.